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Xinjiangchelys, turtle from Upper Jurassic Lower Qigu Formation in China (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper in open access:

Michael W. Maisch & Andreas T. Matzke (2014)
The turtle Xinjiangchelys radiplicatoides BRINKMAN et al., 2013
(Reptilia: Testudines) from the Lower Qigu Formation (Upper Jurassic)
of Liuhuanggou, Xinjiang, People's Republic of China.
Palaeodiversity 7: 133-147

A small turtle specimen consisting of a partial plastron and fragments
of the carapace is described from the Lower Qigu Formation of
Liuhuanggou, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region, People’s Republic of
China. It is the stratigraphically oldest vertebrate find from this
important locality which has yielded a highly diverse vertebrate
fauna, a short review of which is provided. The specimen shows great
similarity to Xinjiangchelys radiplicatus (YOUNG & CHOW, 1953) from
the Middle/Upper Jurassic of Sichuan. It is even more similar to
Xinjiangchelys radiplicatoides (BRINKMAN et al. 2013) recently
described from the Upper Shishugou Formation of Pingfengshan in the
Central Junggar Basin, and is accordingly referred to that species.
The xinjiangchelyid turtle fauna of the Qigu Formation at Liuhuanggou
contains at least 4 different taxa, X. radiplicatoides BRINKMAN et al.
2013, X. chowi MATZKE et al., 2005, X. qiguensis MATZKE et al., 2004
and an as yet unnamed species from the turtle-amphibian-archosaur
assemblage. Although this appears to be a  comparatively high
diversity, all these taxa have so far only been found in different
stratigraphic levels spanning almost 200 m of sediment thickness. As
xinjiangchelyid turtles are the most common macrofossils of the Qigu
Formation in the southern Junggar Basin they may have some
biochronological value. Both X. radiplicatoides and X. chowi are now
known from Upper Jurassic strata of both the southern and central
Junggar Basin, indicating that faunistic similarities between these
areas were present.